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Learning a better way to be heard

Stories
Learning a better way to be heard

By Colleen Walsh, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

When “Marni” enrolled at The Vista School, she rarely looked at other people and had no means of communicating. She would become extremely frustrated and would at times hurt herself or others to make herself heard.

Marni began exchanging pictures of food items from classroom materials to ask for things that she wanted. Soon, a communication board was introduced, so that she could exchange pictures to say, “eat, play, go, watch, or drink.”

Marni learned that giving someone one of these icons meant that she would gain access to the item or location, and she didn’t have to resort to injurious behaviors out of frustration. Now, Marni can be seen reaching out to others, smiling and giggling across campus, giving an icon to communicate what she needs, and completing difficult tasks when working for those items.